: an invitation to all censors to come get drowned in flowers.
Yesterday the wedding-style-life blog Green Wedding Shoes shared with its readers a day of my summer, a day of make-believe and deepening storm clouds and friends with big ideas and lots of driving, and my poor little dog's first time chained to a tree. The soundtrack behind this really not-real wedding: whiny baby barks.
It's exciting to get published in this way, a way I never thought of getting published back when I was submitting poems to literary journals or reading submissions to the National Poetry Series or logging my hours in InDesign, mapping out books. This kind of publishing is entirely novel (haHa) in my world, a whole different world than the one I might have imagined.
And this event-of-publication reinvigorated my interest in this website, for a minute -- would people journey here from there? what would they find when they arrived? from whence did they come?
So I looked at my metrics, a field I thank Squarespace for making clear to me, and I found that one intrepid journeyperson had found her way here from a Chinese website called Baidu.
"Baidu -- what is that?" I wondered in delight. Well, Wikipedia tells me that perhaps it's China's Google, or China's Wikipedia, or some amalgam of both and more. Except that only "registered users" can edit the information that's available there. Do you hear the tone in which I write registered users? If italics could be italicized, these would be.
THIS IS TO SAY, I PASS CHINA'S TEST. If you're reading in China, ni hao! This makes me feel a multitude of feelings, among them a fear (recurring; a certainty) that I am no revolutionary. Don't recycling and gardening and the reading of semi-challenging novels constitute a challenge to the dark powers of international governance?
. . . Are you still with me? Then let me finally share this: the story behind Baidu's name. Here's what Wikipedia says:
The name Baidu is a quote from the last line of Xin Qiji's classical poem "Green Jade Table in The Lantern Festival" which reads: "Having searched thousands of times in the crowd, suddenly turning back, She is there in the dimmest candlelight."
In ancient China, girls had to stay indoors, and the Lantern Festival was one of the few times that they could go outside. In the chaotic sea of lights, they would sneak away to meet their lovers and exchange promises to meet again next year.
A summary of the entire poem: Flowers bursting into bloom in the sky, stars falling like rain (fireworks/meteor shower), Whole streets filled with perfume, jeweled horses pulling ornate carriages, fish and dragon lanterns dancing throughout the entire night. A body decorated with golden thread and butterfly trinket, laughter that has a subtle fragrance. Having searched for this person until exhaustion, when suddenly turning back by chance, I find her standing lonely in the far end of the street in the waning light.
Baidu's literal meaning is "thousands of times." It's about searching, and it's about ornament, and it's about surveillance (isn't that interesting), and it's about practice. And there are flowers in it.
I want to thank anybody who came here from any direction, and thanks to friends who care enough to submit these projects for publication, and thanks to publications for spreading the word about our dreamy little projects, and thanks be to summer for having happened so elegantly and so full of a-flowering. And, finally, thank you to Baidu's namesake poem for a pretty sweet Halloween costume idea.